The Millbrook senior has been a force at the 4A level, and leaves as one of the best female distance runners in NC history.
I didn't get to know Sammy very well over the last few years, but thankfully her accomplishments really speak for themselves: 4 state titles in the 1600 (3 outdoor, 1 indoor), plus one in cross country this past fall; #4 all-time outdoors in the 1600 and 800; #8 all-time outdoors in the 3200; #3 all-time indoors in the 1600. In most years, that would be more than enough to be the dominant distance runner in our state! Sammy has done it all with her trademark smile, even through a series of injuries that have prevented her from earning even more state titles (such as this past winter). I admire her resiliency, and I also admire her conservative approach to injuries and training: when something is bothering her, she doesn't push through it, but instead pulls back and lets it heal. That has allowed her to continually rebound with strong performances after periods of no racing. I know she is going to work hard and run fast times at NC State; my only wish for her, going forward, is that she actually has an entire healthy school year.